Copyright assignment

Alexandre Dulaunoy alex at
Thu Jun 13 20:27:16 UTC 2002

On Mon, 10 Jun 2002, Loic Dachary wrote:

> Georg C. F. Greve writes:
>  > What you can transfer are "exclusive exploitation rights," which
>  > economically behave like the anglo-american Copyright, but it does not
>  > contain the "personality rights" of the author.
> 	That's what we call "droits moraux" (moral rights) in France.
> Maybe Till can tell us if these "personality rights" are common to all
> countries in Europe. Are there European countries that have no such
> concept ? It exists in Germany (my guess), in France and ... ?

	Yes, but the expression is not same across the european countries.
In Belgium, there is also a concept of "droits moraux exclusifs".

>  > Normally, a transferral of "Copyright" would be understood as a
>  > transferral of exclusive exploitation rights under continental
>  > European law, but all doubts (that seem valid when the case goes to
>  > court) will always be interpreted in favor of the original author.
>  >
>  > Fuzzy statements work against the FSF in this case.
> 	I'd like to understand why, precisely.
> 	"personality rights" are never mentionned in European
> contracts (paid jobs, working for a company as a freelance
> etc.). Nevertheless, it is enforceable. Instead of qualifying such
> contracts as fuzzy, I think it would be more accurate to qualify them
> as being implicit instead of explicit. If enforceability of
> "personality rights" could be questionned for copyright assignments
> made to the FSF for this reason only, it would mean that the vast
> majority of European contracts can be questioned under the same logic.

	Yes. For example, in Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, there is a law
where the "personality rights" is going to the current employer. It's
implicit but for the employer. It's quite a bad situation and the EU has
made some comments to remove that. If you want, I can send you the law...
But ok it's special case (I think the Luxembourg is the only country with
that). But it's better to mention the "copyright
assignement" in the working contract instead of having a floating clause.

>  > In the United States, Copyright is just a "thing" and can be bought
>  > and sold like anything else.
>  >
>  > Fuzzy statements tend to work for the FSF in this case.
>  >
>  > So it makes a lot of sense to make sure you have an assignment that
>  > will work as well as possible under European law.
>  >
>  > Once the Fiduciary License Agreement of the FSF Europe is ready, it is
>  > possible that the FSF North America will also start using it.

	What do you mean by a Fiduciary License Agreement ?

> 	I agree that mentioning "personality rights" would be an better.
> I still fail to see why not doing so could be hazardous but I think that
> adding it would be nice, even if it's not legally required.
>  > Of course Europeans are free to choose the FSF North America as their
>  > fiduciary just like North Americans are free to choose the FSF Europe.
> 	Right. It follows the same logic as assigning copyright to
> APRIL, ANSOL, Software Libero etc. It basically relies on the amount
> of trust people have toward an independant moral person to fight for
> their rights. Since there are no legal links between FSF and FSF Europe
> assigning copyright to FSF Europe means that someone trust it to never
> fall under an evil influence. I'm happy to learn that people already
> are ready to grant this high level of trust the newborn FSF Europe.

	Is there some case with multiple copyright assignement going to
multiple association instead of one? (like APRIL and FSF ?) This could be
a solution for the evolution of a organization regarding a
specific issue. (for example software patents or export control)



> 	Cheers,

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